DREAM Act logical place for GOP to start wooing Hispanics
What a difference a few months – and an election – can make.
In the past, many Republican members of Congress were resistant to the idea of helping children brought to our country by illegal immigrants. Now GOP leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives seem open to the idea.
Democrats in Congress have been pushing for the DREAM Act for years. The legislation would open a path to legal residency to these children who are now adults and want the ability to work and go to college without facing possible deportation.
It would not be a “gift.” Those taking advantage of the program would either have to serve in the military or go to college as part of the process to gain permanent legal residency.
Supporters say the DREAM Act is simply a recognition that these individuals had no choice in coming here illegally as children. Often they have lived much of their lives here and consider themselves Americans. This would give them the opportunity to live without fear they will be unfairly punished.
Opponents see the legislation as a form of amnesty that condones illegal activity and rewards the misbehavior of their parents.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has been one of those opponents, but the other day appeared to have a change of heart. He said, “It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children and who know no other home.”
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, joined the chorus, saying the idea is “worthy of consideration.” Not a solid endorsement, but still it indicates movement.
Although we would like to think it is because they now fully see this as the moral and fair thing to do, it is more likely, at least in part, due to the last presidential election when most Hispanics rejected the Republican Party's nominee.
It is a good place to start wooing Hispanics. There is no reason these individuals should be punished for what their parents did. They deserve the ability to make things right by earning their legal status and contributing fully to our nation.